In the crowd that day was a woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years from slow bleeding. Even though she had spent all that she had on healers, she was still suffering. Pressing in through the crowd, she came up behind Jesus and touched the tassel of his prayer shawl. Instantly her bleeding stopped and she was healed. Luke 8: 43-44 The Passion Translation
Never underestimate a woman of desperate faith—especially when she is willing to risk her life—as she takes hold of a tassel from the Messiah’s prayer shawl in simple childlike faith.
(Oh, yes, she was a desperate woman with great faith!)
She knew the Law—what she was risking.
But she had decided—she would rather die than live another day with her infirmity.
The Jewish laws on purity.
By the time of Jesus, bathing in water was an established part of the purification process following menstruation, but nowhere in the Bible is there mention of the menstruant bathing in water. Instruction on purification through the use of the mikveh (ritual bath) by menstruants may be traced to the time of the sages. An entire tractate of the Mishnah, Mikvaot, is devoted to immersion pools. To this day, for Jewish women committed to halachah (religious law), immersion in the mikveh is considered obligatory before marital relations can resume.
According to Leviticus 12:1-8, because of the bleeding associated with childbirth, a woman is ceremonially unclean after giving birth, just as she is unclean during her menstrual period. The uncleanness is for seven days if she bears a boy (vs. 2), and for fourteen days if she bears a girl (vs. 5). The mother must wait thirty-three additional days after a boy and sixty-six days after a girl to be finally “purified from her bleeding” (vss. 4-5). At the end of her time of uncleanness, she is to bring a sacrifice to the priest (vss. 6-8). —Marvin Wilson, Jewish Laws of Purity in Jesus’ Day
Speak to the Israelite people and instruct them to make for themselves fringes on the corners of their garments throughout the ages; let them attach a cord of blue to the fringe at each corner. That shall be your fringe; look at it and recall all the commandments of the LORD and observe them, so that you do not follow your heart and eyes in your lustful urge. Thus you shall be reminded to observe all My commandments and to be holy to your God.
New Testament Mention of the Tallit and Tzitzit*
In the New Testament we find the tallit and tzitzit mentioned as an ordinary all-day garment. Condemning the ostentatious religious practices of some people, Jesus referred to the extreme length of their tzitzit.
But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments Matthew 23:5
Sick people touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, that is, the tassels themselves.
And suddenly a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment Matthew 9:20
…came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped Luke 8:44
…and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well Matthew 14:36
Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged Him that they might just touch the border of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well Mark 6:56
These verses support the earlier theory concerning the Old Testament account of David and Saul, i.e. that the hem or edge of a garment stood for the wearer’s authority. The woman believed that if she could only touch the hem of Jesus’ garment, she would experience the power of His person and authority. Her act was not a matter of superstition, but a silent cry for Jesus to grant her His personal attention and healing power.
…Jesus allowed those who “connected” with Him by touch to experience who He was: the Great Physician. (* Rich Robinson, The Tallit & Tzitzit, Jews For Jesus)
She was a giant woman of faith.
I personally believe, that this unnamed woman, singled out by Jesus for all of eternity, was standing on the promise in Malachi 4:2—because the tzitzit were commonly called “the wings” of the tallit, and Malachi prophesied,
But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
Jesus was then, and is for us today, The Sun of Righteousness!
He does NOT change.
Can you imagine such faith?
A woman, a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years, reaches out and takes hold of the tassel of the prayer shawl of The Messiah because she believed, that Jesus was the promised Sun, with healing in His “wings.”
She knew that He held the healing she desperately sought!
Imagine the courageous faith it took to ignore the Pharisees, and The Law (and its consequences!) and instead, crawl through that crowd, to reach up and take hold of His love and His promise.
Imagine trusting Him—that much?
What a powerful witness her story is to us today!
Hebrews 10: 35 says, “So don’t lose your bold, courageous faith, for you are destined for a great reward!” (TPT)
The next time you pray?
The next time you come before the throne of God? Remember her story.
When you use the name of Jesus, and the authority He has bequeathed to you remember, as a Believer, you wear the title of Joint Heir with Christ.
You are now a King and Priest! (Hebrews 5: 6)
Search your heart for the grace of His agreement, then ask, with a bold confidence in all that He has promised you!
Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we present any request agreeable to his will, he will hear us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we also know that we have obtained the requests we ask of him. 1 John 5: 14-15 TPT
In the crowd that day was a woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years[a] from slow bleeding. Even though she had spent all that she had on healers,[b] she was still suffering. Pressing in through the crowd, she came up behind Jesus and touched the tassel[c] of his prayer shawl. Instantly her bleeding stopped and she was healed.
Jesus suddenly stopped and said to his disciples, “Someone touched me. Who is it?”[d]
While they all denied it, Peter pointed out, “Master, everyone is touching you, trying to get close to you. The crowds are so thick[e] we can’t walk through all these people without being jostled.”
Jesus replied, “Yes, but I felt power surge through me. Someone touched me to be healed, and they received their healing.”
When the woman realized she couldn’t hide any longer, she came and fell trembling at Jesus’ feet. Before the entire crowd she declared, “I was desperate to touch you, Jesus, for I knew if I could just touch even the fringe of your robe[f] I would be healed.”
Jesus responded, “Beloved daughter, your faith in me has released your healing. You may go with my peace.” Luke 8: 43-48 The Passion Translation
- Luke 8:43 The daughter of Jairus was twelve years old; this woman had suffered for twelve years. Jesus touched the girl; the woman touched Jesus.
- Luke 8:43 Translated from the Aramaic text, which states literally “the house of healers.” This phrase is not found in many Greek texts.
- Luke 8:44 This was on the corner of the prayer shawl, and the tassel was meant to symbolize all of the commandments and promises of God. The woman was laying hold of a promise for healing.
- Luke 8:45 Jesus already knew the answer to his question. He wanted the woman to come forward and acknowledge her healing.
- Luke 8:45 There were many crowds around Jesus, the living Word. Many today crowd around the Bible, the written Word. But only those who “touch” the Scriptures in faith receive its promises, just like the sick woman received her healing.
- Luke 8:47 She was touching the hem of the robe of our anointed High Priest, Jesus. See Ps. 133:2.